The Late Movies: Covers of "Ceremony"


"Ceremony" is among the best-known songs by the band Joy Division, although it was made famous by New Order -- a band which was effectively the remnants of Joy Division, minus its deceased singer/songwriter, Ian Curtis. It's a hell of a song, partly because there are so few recordings (only three -- all live, from rehearsals or soundchecks) by the original band, including this one. So in a sense, all we have of "Ceremony" are cover versions -- there was no studio recording of this song with Ian Curtis on vocals. So tonight, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I present these lovely cover versions of "Ceremony."

Radiohead, November 2007

Performed live on the band's webcast.

Galaxie 500

At Club Lingerie, date unknown. Slowed down quite a bit.

Xiu Xiu, July 2007

At Ferrara. Check out a similar peformance from a different camera angle.

A Girl Named Noel, January 2008

Here's how to play it on piano.

Joy Revision, March 2008

Yeah, so there's a Joy Division cover band called Joy Revision. Who knew?

Dean & Britta, June 2009

At Le Poisson Rouge in New York. Slow and hypnotic.

New Order, November 1981

From November 19th 1981, apparently from New Order's eleventh US show.


Here are the lyrics:

This is why events unnerve me They find it all a different story Notice whom for wheels are turning Turn around and turn towards this time All she ask's the strength to hold me Then again the same old story World will travel oh so quickly Travel first and lean towards this time Oh I'll bring them down, no mercy shown Heaven knows it's got to be this time Watching her the times she cried The times she cried Too frail to wake/walk this time Oh I'll bring them down, no mercy shown Heaven knows it's got to be this time Avenues all lined with trees Picture me and then we'll start watching Watching forever Forever, watching love grow Forever, letting me know Forever.

(Idea via Kung Fu Grippe.)